A Guide to Keeping Schools Safe During COVID-19

We aim to help schools and their communities successfully navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Holistic health and well-being are our top priority. This site provides a compendium of strategies and resources for a safer return to school. They are applicable before reopening and throughout the academic year, and address the current health crisis as well as future challenges.

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― Our Intent

We seek to help protect students and the community in the return to school so that the critical work of teaching and learning can continue. This road map is our contribution to that important objective.

― A Holistic Approach

Safety, health, and learning are the only priorities.

No single strategy can address the COVID-19 public health crisis. Therefore, we provide guidance on social and behavioral changes, scheduling, use of virtual environments, signage, reduced surface contamination through both cleaning and non-cleaning strategies, social distancing and capacity analysis, and air quality.

― An Emphasis on Equity

Many factors will affect the severity of COVID-19 cases in schools. These include school demographics, spending, and administrative policy. We address four key concerns:

Environmental Injustice

Ensure that all people have the opportunity to learn in a safe and healthy environment.

Housing and Food Insecurity

Provide resources for basic human services.

Preexisting Conditions

Account for people with respiratory conditions (asthma), obesity, and other conditions that may increase risk.

Mobility Impairments

Modify directional guidance and plan for all students.

― Understanding the Risks

School design and protocols cannot address every hazard between home and school. There will be risks.

Home

Working parents

Social engagements

Multi-generational living

Transit to school

Public transportation

School bus density / contamination

Entering and exiting school 

Entering the building

High-touch surfaces

Public spaces

Learning spaces

Designed and managed for physical distance

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The guidance provided on this site is based on the available information as of the date of publication and does not replace federal, state, or local public health recommendations but aggregates best practices and innovative solutions at the intersection of buildings and school health. We encourage schools to reach out and seek expert advice on their unique circumstances.